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Old 21-01-2018, 02:47   #46
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Re: Electric repower Hunter 450 Passage

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Originally Posted by Chris-Le-Bear View Post
Growley, am heartened by your post and that of a couple of others here as I have spent the last 2+ hours reading a lot of very negative stuff as to why electric engines make no sense and why diesel is ever so much better. I am hunting for a boat to buy, am leaning towards the Aquarius Pilot Cutter which is 24 feet long and weighs close to 9,000 pound. Having lived off the electric grid for some years (with solar and a gen backup for cloudy days) I am keen on the concept of having an electric motor, especially as I have zero mechanical skill. Thank you for making it sound like my dream is a possiblity.
Diesel IS much better, for some owners. Depends on your needs. If you might ever have to motor all day at 5kts, electric will present its own set of problems. If the operating characteristics and limitations of the typical e-drive setup are acceptable, then you might very well find it superior to diesel, as I do.

Actually a good bit of mechanical skill as well as electrical, is very very useful for the e-boat owner. This is especially true for a DIY setup. You will do a lot of drilling, bolting, cutting, welding, component matching, aligning, and adjusting. You very likely wont get it right the first time. I am fixing to completely redo my own motor mounting system, as a matter of fact, because 3-1/2 years in, having gained some knowledge and experience, I now find that my original installation is not optimum. Packaged kits or turnkey installed systems often need tweaking or repair. Nothing like maintaining a diesel, but you still need to be okay with turning a wrench now and then. I assume you do have good electrical skills, and know how to maintain batteries and calculate charge remaining, and how to work safely around things that can zap you.

You sound like a true believer. That can be a good thing or a not so good thing. Be very sure that the operating characteristics and limitations are acceptable tradeoffs for the benefits. Maybe you are a perfect match for an electric boat. Just be sure of it before you commit.
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Old 21-01-2018, 18:50   #47
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Re: Electric repower Hunter 450 Passage

Growley, I am a true believer, while also being mindful of the fact there may be times and occasions where a good old diesel is just the thing. Perhaps we're still in the early stages of reliable electric motors and the critical mass of purchasers will not develop until any number of kinks have been worked through including smaller and more powerful solar panels. Am nevertheless excited that it is even possible to run with electric motors and I also appreciate your wisdom and words of caution.
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Old 21-01-2018, 21:39   #48
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Re: Electric repower Hunter 450 Passage

Le-Bear;2560498]Growley, I am a true believer, while also being mindful of the fact there may be times and occasions where a good old diesel is just the thing. Perhaps we're still in the early stages of reliable electric motors and the critical mass of purchasers will not develop until any number of kinks have been worked through including smaller and more powerful solar panels. Am nevertheless excited that it is even possible to run with electric motors and I also appreciate your wisdom and words of caution.[/QUOTE]

Actually electric boats are nothing new. They were fairly common 100 years ago, as were electric cars. The first electric boat that we know of was launched in 1838. I dont think it is a question of critical mass as much as consumer preference. I dont think groundbreaking developments in solar panels or batteries are right around the corner, either. But the technology that we already have can be quite useful and appropriate for some users. I just don't want to see anyone rush blindly into an electric repower without knowing the facts.
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Old 21-01-2018, 22:02   #49
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Re: Electric repower Hunter 450 Passage

The only way to get more than 1kw per square meter would be to move the earth closer to the sun or have the sun go super nova
No thanks .
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Old 21-01-2018, 22:34   #50
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Re: Electric repower Hunter 450 Passage

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Originally Posted by Chris-Le-Bear View Post
Growley, I am a true believer, while also being mindful of the fact there may be times and occasions where a good old diesel is just the thing. Perhaps we're still in the early stages of reliable electric motors and the critical mass of purchasers will not develop until any number of kinks have been worked through including smaller and more powerful solar panels. Am nevertheless excited that it is even possible to run with electric motors and I also appreciate your wisdom and words of caution.
The problem is to make solar a practical propulsion power source on a sailboat, solar panels would need to improve in efficiency by an order of magnitude.

Likewise, battery storage to get decent range and typical cruising boat speeds also needs and order of magnitude (maybe 2 orders) to be viable.

As mentioned, if you are willing to accept significant limitations on speed and range, it's viable now. If you are weekenders and just need to get in and out of a slip or you don't mind limiting speeds to 3-4kts, it's very much doable. Though you likely will take a hit on resale as most are not willing to accept these limitations.

Or simply sail more and motor less. I've had guys bragging about using less than 5 gal of diesel over the course of a summer. If you can cut down from say 200gal/yr to 5 gal, you've solved 97.5% of the problem while giving up none of the capabilities when you do need that power.
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